Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. You can see some of our designs in our Redbubble shop. We also have a small shop at Etsy.com.


Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (like Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.


We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.


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Pumpkin Dances and Good Vibrations

ideajones-happy-jackI created this short video as a holiday greeting for our Facebook page. It’s set to the music of Mick Martin & The Blues Rockers.


Fortunately, we have good working relationships with a few artists who allow us to use their music for non-commercial projects.


Too often, what could be a good moment, or a good project, goes down in flames for lack of basic courtesy. Case in point…

My friend Janice and I volunteered to hand out information for a charity at a concert. We wanted to go to the concert (The Monkees, supporting their “Good Times” cd and the band’s 50th anniversary). The charity, The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation, supports a herd of horses left behind by one of the founding members of the band (Davy Jones).

We wanted to approach people who came for the concert and tell them about the charity. From the venue’s perspective, this can go very wrong. We could have arrived and just started approaching people in line — people who might not have want to be bothered. We might have slowed down the line of people entering for the concert, talking to people who were interested, and making things harder on the people charged with seating the audience and getting the show started.

Janice and I went the day before, explained what we were going to do, and asked who we should speak with. Because we approached the people at the venue when they weren’t too busy to talk to us, and asked politely (1) if we could and (2) how they’d like us to do it, they were receptive.

Eventually, we spoke with the head of Operations for the venue and he had the staff set up a table and chairs for us inside, and allowed us to enter early to set up. We were told a few times by various people at the venue that they appreciated how we went about it — that we asked beforehand, and were mindful of not wanting to interrupt the jobs other people needed to do. They checked on us a few times to see if we needed anything. When the wind picked up, they even taped the back of our poster to our table so we wouldn’t have to chase it.

Janice and I had a great time. Lots of people who are fans of Davy Jones learned about his charity, and we enjoyed the concert. We also enjoyed working with the staff at Vino Robles.

Which is how Mark and I approached people about using their music for videos. We did it far enough ahead so that nobody was rushed, explained what we wanted to do briefly and clearly, and asked permission. It sounds simple, but I’ve seen people just charge ahead without asking more times than I can count — and it usually doesn’t end well.

Mom used to say “Respect other people’s work and don’t get in the way of it.” Good manners are good sense. They don’t guarantee you’ll get a “yes,” but they take a lot of obstacles out of the way and make that “yes” more likely.

Btw, I can’t say enough about Vino Robles, which is a lovely venue, and Paso Robles, a lovely small town on the California coast. If you’re making vacation plans, it’s worth checking their event calendar, picking a concert, and making a trip. We stayed at the Best Western Black Oaks, which was clean, comfortable and has a friendly, efficient staff.

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Happy Haloweek!

This is "Harvest Moon," a digital painting based on my acrylic painting, "The Night Watch."

This is “Harvest Moon,” a digital painting based on my acrylic painting, “The Night Watch.”

Here it is, the fall holiday. If autumn had a mascot, it would be a kid draped in a sheet with holes cut out for the eyes, carrying a plastic pumpkin.

The holiday came from All Hallow’s Eve. It was believed that on that night, the border between the living and the dead became thinner and things such as ghosts could get through.

Before that, it was Samhain, a holiday that reminded people it was time to perserve and store food for the coming winter and lay in supplies.

The Irish and Scots brought traditions such as costume parties, carving pumpkins, and having bonfires to the United States. From the U.S. Halloween traditions have spread to many other countries, and each has put its own spin on the holiday.

A bit of trivia about trick-or-treating: in parts of Ohio and Iowa, Halloween is “Beggar’s Night.” I don’t know if knocking on a door and offering the person who answers a choice between giving you something or having a trick played on him is begging, exactly, but “Blackmail Night” sounds awful, so…

My most successful Halloween costume, in terms of candy collected? Santa Claus! Mom made my costumes. One year, I wanted to be a tomato. Yes, I was a weird kid. Anyway, Mom was talented and she really tried, but she just couldn’t come up with a good tomato costume, so she converted it to Santa Claus. I was horrified. Santa Claus? On Halloween? But I went trick or treating, and people loved it. “You’re way to early!,” they’d laugh, or “Santa Claus! That’s great — I’m tired of scary costumes!”  They dropped extra candy into my sack (because Santa carries a sack, of course, not a plastic pumpkin). I made out that Halloween. Other kids were openly jealous (and yes, I shared).

Halloween is a chance to try on other personalities, play games, eat treats and either be a kid, or remember being a kid. Wherever you are, we hope you have a wonderful (safe), happy Halloween!



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Doing Your Civic Doody

We will never forget this election year. Oh, we'll try, but we'll never forget.

We will never forget this election year. Oh, we’ll try, but we’ll never forget.

Lord, I’m looking forward to the end of this election.

I envy people who came of age in the 60s. Who knows what kind of President JFK would have been long-term, but they at least had the chance to be idealistic.

It was bad enough when the “bleeding heart liberals” faced off against the “heartless right-wingers.” The language has gotten harsher. This time, it sounds as if all sides believe the other side is no longer human, not just mistaken, but evil. Only one side gets heard in the end, because the winning side continues to paint the losing side as tainted, untouchable. We’re giving up the ability to become one country after the votes are tallied.

While I’ve spoken out about the issues and the candidates in this election, I’ve tried to avoid demonizing or deifying any side. Back someone into a corner, and his only way out is to fight you. Everyone is worried, scared, tense and tired. Not the best condition in which to make decisions. We have to leave each other room to negotiate our shared future regardless of who wins the election.

My tolerance does not extend to the candidates themselves and their handlers. One especially. I understand how someone could support Donald Trump in the beginning, and once there, with people saying you’re stupid or worse, switching requires eating a huge slice of humble pie. They didn’t leave you any way out with your pride intact.

But if you can do it, if you can manage to choke down that much humility and admit he fooled you, know that at least one person admires you for that. It is hard to say you’re wrong. I hate admitting I’m wrong. So if you look at the way he hasn’t released his tax records when he’s the only candidate in decades not to do that, the way he says things and then says he didn’t say them when they’ve been recorded and it’s irrefutable that he did, if you can see that you thought you were getting a can-do businessman, but what he’s selling you is a hazardous, toxic man-baby who would lie to your face, use you and discard you in a  heartbeat, then I and every other reasonable, decent person in this country, possibly around the world, will owe you our respect.  Everyone gets fooled from time to time, but it takes a lot to admit it.

It’s not you I don’t respect — it’s him. You’re not evil. You’re not stupid. You got conned. It happens to most of us. Even if you can’t quite admit it publicly, which is even harder, admit it when you vote your ballot and kick this toxic con artist where it will pain him most — in his ego. You’re in the position to give him the lesson he desperately needs.

And once it’s over, we all need to put down our darts and knives and come together to keep our government working on the problems we need it to handle. So those who have been demonizing the opposition will have to swallow those “I told you so’s” unsaid, refrain from saying or posting that perfect insult, stop being unmitigated asshats, and work for the common good without name-calling. Mason Cooley once said, “Enjoy an insult as you deliver it, before you learn its cost.” The people you demonize will not work with you. If you want things to get better, you’re going to have to leave those witty barbs unsaid.

We need to get back to working with each other, talking to each other, and admiring posts of each others’ lunches and pets. It won’t be easy, but it will feel good.

If we’ve ever wanted to be superheroes, now’s our chance.

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Back To The 60s

This poster, just finished, celebrates some great 60s memories.

This poster, just finished, celebrates some great 60s memories.

This is the 50th anniversary year of a lot of 60s stuff:

The Monkees tv show (and band) launched September of 1966;

Star Trek (the original) debuted the same year;

The Chevrolet Camaro, The National Historic Preservation Act (preserving sites with historic significance in the U.S.), the last official Beatles concert, the Batman tv series, and Francie, the Barbie doll’s “hipper” cousin, all made their bows in 1966.

I was in kindergarten and Mom said that my older sister would be taking me to see The Monkees in San Francisco, CA the following January. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  They were playing The Cow Palace and I hadn’t been there. They were playing San Francisco and I hadn’t been there (even though we lived in Santa Cruz, which isn’t that far away). And they were The Monkees. I played their records until they were so fuzzy it sounded like static.

Then Mom told me the concert had been canceled. Someone was sick. That was that.

Well, that wasn’t really that — Mom lied. I think she got a look at the chaos that was the audience at a Monkees concert and decided that she didn’t want her five-year-old daughter to be trampled to death. Or my sister, who was a hippie, adamantly refused to take me. I’ll never know. Either way, it would be years before I’d hear them live. I got to see “the Threekees,” which is any three members of the band, a couple of times in the 80s. Those times it was Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones. The shows were a lot of fun. I even got pranked by Davy, which is a very special memory for me.

This year, Mark took me to see “the Threekees” again, in Monterey. Initially it was to have been “the Twokees,” in this case Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, but Mike Nesmith came onstage for the last part of the concert. It was in an old “golden age” movie theater, The beautiful Golden State Theatre in Monterey, and we got to meet up with friends. Thanks to our friend Janice, we even ended up center stage, second row, and we had a lot of fun. And while I didn’t get to see them in San Francisco, I will be seeing them in Paso Robles, CA with Janice — which is why Mark and I made this poster.

Davy Jones died suddenly, leaving his daughters and a herd of horses, some of them rescues, behind. Horses are expensive to maintain (I grew up with them and it’s both labor-intensive and expensive to keep a horse), and his daughters set up a charity to keep their father’s little herd together. As my time in fandom comes to a close, it seemed like the right note to do something to support the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund. So Janice and I will be out in front of the theater before the show, passing out information.

This poster of Davy Jones is also a nod to one of my favorite artists of the 60s, Peter Max. I’ve been a fan of his work since I was a little kid.  It’s colorful, flowing, and when I was a kid in Santa Cruz, psychedelic art was everywhere. Of course, I was much too young for the “tune in, turn on, drop out” 60s, but the aesthetic was in magazines, on tv, in the music, clothes, movies…  Since Max’s work and The Monkees both came out of the 60s, it seemed right to mix a bit of Peter Max into the style. I’ve also got a thing for stained glass. Most often associated with churches, there’s something about stained glass that makes the subject more of a statement.

Stained glass is bold in its use of color and light, but fragile. It also forces the eye and brain to do one of the things they do best — find patterns. The face here is rendered minimally, but it’s clear what and who it is.

So I’ll be standing around this weekend in Paso Robles, hoping this encourages people to approach us and get information about Davy Jones’s charity (yep, official charity, 501(c)3, I checked), and making people smile. If you’re in the area I hope you stop by!



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